You mean I have to pick one? O.o
Well I'm going to go with a Selena story from equestrian team last year. She's not crazy anymore and I still have her, but at the time I was ready to bury her alive.
So we practice all kinds of one-handed in the warmup pen and she does well. She lopes her circles, changes her leads, spins her pretty little hole in the ground and will slide to a stop. I thought we were okay to check into our event so I went on ahead and went to the gate. We had another dozen or so riders ahead of us, but seeing as Selena was dripping with sweat, I thought she would be okay if I watched those riders and then went into the ring.
Boy was I wrong.
I walk in along the rail on a loose rein thinking I'll be a show off and be that rider with the horse that can do a reining pattern with the reins dragging the ground. Yeah I was thinking I was pretty hot stuff, especially after watching the others who were pretty bad (Most people do reining as a pick up event)
So after walking in on a loose rein, the judge gave me a nod to begin. I go to pick up the right lead, and what does Selena do? STRAIGHT up in the air, all four feet off the ground. I think we left the earths gravitational pull for a minute there. She then proceeded to lunge into the wrong lead and almost run over the judge. All the while, I'm trying to gather up my loose reins (Not such a good idea now, was it, turbo?
) and ask for a flying lead change and get back on a circle while simultaneously trying to comprehend what the hell just happened.
The first circle was supposed to be a small slow one. Selena thought a deformed egg at a hand gallop would be a more suitable pattern. And when it came time to go to a large fast circle, she bucked so hard for a few strides and slammed my leg into the fence, causing me to swear loudly and my eighty year old judge to give me a 'look'.
At this point I was just along for the ride. I could point her in a direction of a circle and she followed it about 30% of the time. And she just kept running around no matter how far back I sat, how many times I pulled on her face, or how ,any shouts of "WHOA, STUPID" I could muster up. I pretty much just decided to do the pattern and try not to die.
Didn't entirely think that through since I did eventually have to slide STOP. Greeattt.
I go into my run down by pretty much just shortening one rein as much as I could with my one hand and yanking her into it. She crowhopped and bucked the ENTIRE way. So much so, she didn't even notice the fence until she came screeching to a halt right in front of it (Some stop, huh?) and we did a rollback. It was supposed to be on a straight line but Selena thought that a diagonal line would be more fun. So she ran and stopped on a diagonal line. Great. Just...Great.
We made it through one more stop and tried to spin. She reared up so high I thought she was going to go over backwards and kill me. But she didn't....Thank god.
When I walked out, I looked at the judge to see the damage. And she was laughing!
She tracked me down afterwards and told me "I saw you earlier in the warmup pen and thought 'I'd love to see that girl rein for me'. But my heart sank when I saw you standing out there watching all those riders go before you.... Your horse was getting more bound up the longer you stayed still."
As you can imagine I felt like an idiot. I knew
better than to let a horse get cold after warming it up but I spaced out and screwed up.
But lesson learned, keep Selena moving before a run!